District Council leader John Lodge to step down next week

Left: Portrait of Cllr John Lodge (Saffron Walden Shire); Right: Portrait of Cllr Petrina Lees (Elsenham and Henham)

Uttlesford District Council leader John Lodge will step down from his post on December 7. He is due to be replaced by Councillor Petrina Lees, who would be UDC's first female leader - Credit: Supplied

A reshuffle will see Uttlesford District Council's leader step down next week.

Councillor John Lodge, who led the Residents for Uttlesford party to victory in the 2019 local elections, will stand down as council leader on Tuesday, December 7.

The Saffron Walden Shire councillor has said he indents to retire at the next election, due in 2023.

Incumbent deputy leader Cllr Petrina Lees (Elsenham and Henham) intends to become the district's first female leader, with Cllr Neil Hargreaves (Newport) as her deputy.

Cllr Lodge said: "We were elected to take over UDC... to fix longstanding issues at the council, and to build a more resident-focused Uttlesford.

"We have substantially delivered the first.

"We've made strides towards our second goal, but there is still much work."

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He added: "Equality is important to R4U, so I'm excited that Cllr Leeds will be UDC's first female leader".

A full reshuffle has been planned.